Let’s Use Spiritual Discernment

Please forgive me for sending this out late. Monday, being a holiday, has thrown my entire schedule off!

Anyway, I received one of those chain emails this week.  This particular one was religious in nature and beautifully done with breathtaking pictures of God’s creation and soothing music playing in the background.  It was supposed to be an interview with God and the first question to God was, What surprises you most about humankind?  That’s an interesting question; how do you think God would answer it?  According to the presentation these are the things that surprise God about us:

That they get bored with childhood, they rush to grow up and then long to be children again.

That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health.

That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live in neither the present nor the future.

That they live as if they will never die, and die as though they had never lived.

The interview went on to ask God what lessons He wanted us to learn.  Among the lessons God wants us to learn are:

To learn they cannot make anyone love them. All they can do is let themselves be loved.

To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others.

To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness.

There were other lessons in the presentation, but you get the idea.  At the end of the interview, God was asked if there was anything else He wanted His children to know, to which God replied, Just that I am here – always.

On a scale of 1 – 10, this presentation would rate a 10 for beauty, a 10 for inspiration, and a 10 for effort.  But how would you rate it for truth?  Let me give you several things to think about.  First, God is never surprised.  I know it was probably just an artistic thing, but truth tells us that God isn’t surprised by our rush to grow up, or our desire to make money or our anxiety about the future, or even our habit of ignoring the inevitable death that we will all face.  God knows us inside and out because He created us.  Psalm 103:14 says, He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.  That is, God knows that we are weak spiritually and we don’t always do the right things.

Secondly, ask yourself if these are really the most important lessons that God wants us to learn.  Hasn’t God already listed the lessons He wants us to learn in the Bible?  What about the Ten Commandments, or the Sermon on the Mount, or the Great Commission, or the Great Commandment?  We don’t need to make up lessons that God might give us because He has already given us what He wants us to learn.  With the exception of the lesson on forgiveness in this presentation, most of the others were more man-made philosophy than good theology.

Here’s my point.  As Christians we need to practice spiritual discernment, even in the emails that we pass on to others.  They may be beautiful and stimulating and encouraging and soothing to our souls, but are they true?  Do they agree with the Word of God?  That’s the only standard we have for truth and we need to measure everything against it.

I always sign The Word for the Week by saying Stay in the Word.  I do it because it is only the Word of God that is going to keep us on track.  Read Psalm 119:105.

So . . .

Stay in the Word

Pastor Steve

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